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What's In a Username? the Power of Gamer Tags

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the what's-your-handle? dept.

Games 99

An anonymous reader writes "Are pro gamers good because they're good, or just because their usernames make you think they are? New scientific research suggests it may actually be a little bit of both. What's most interesting about this isn't what it says about current players, but how up and coming gamers will choose their own handles in future, both to intimidate opponents — and pull in the audiences that help subsidize their budding careers."

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So when I see ssj4gotenks69.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46656759)

Does that mean what I think it means?

Re:So when I see ssj4gotenks69.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46656785)

yup, you're playing against fags.

Re:So when I see ssj4gotenks69.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46656917)

Just wait until they go up against PussyDestroyer6969

Re:So when I see ssj4gotenks69.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46657559)

Or even go against Hardik Twinkle Poonam

play their game by their rules (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 8 months ago | (#46656809)

and get beat. choose wisely, Grasshopper.

Re:play their game by their rules (2)

telchine (719345) | about 8 months ago | (#46658703)

Sometimes I go by the handle "a vehicle". Then when I kill someone, their screen says "you were killed by a vehicle". OMG how funny is that???!?!!!???!!! Sometimes even after the 100th time, I'm still falling off my chair, it's friggin' hilarious. I'm like the funniest dude in Halo with my supreme original sharp humor! OMG how 1337 am I?!?!!!!!

Re:play their game by their rules (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658747)

My friend and I used to go on Christian Halo servers (no swearing allowed, but ultraviolence A-OK!) as "Jesus" and "Judas". He would then TK me for the obviously ban-inducing "Jesus betrayed Judas".

For lulz we would occasionally turn the tables and claim we were spreading the Gospel.

Fedora intensifies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658953)

Wow, that's so edgy and mature. You really spoke truth to power there by harassing those faggoty xtians.

I'd upvote you 100 kilosagans but this isn't reddit where your kind belongs.

Re:Fedora intensifies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46659147)

...but does Reddit have AC circlejerks like this? Ha! I didn't think so.

Re:play their game by their rules (1)

slugstone (307678) | about 8 months ago | (#46658707)

Yes, Master Po

Re:play their game by their rules (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 8 months ago | (#46658817)

Well judging by my Slash Dot handle I'm punching above my weight :)

Well heck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46656813)

I guess my handle "sittingduck" wasn't such a good idea after all....

Re:Well heck (4, Funny)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about 8 months ago | (#46656887)

It could have all been different with one strategically placed "h"...

Re:Well heck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46657523)

I have a character called Eiykeelguud. He really does Kill very well.

Re:Well heck (1)

iMySti (863056) | about 8 months ago | (#46662509)

sithtingduck?

Re:Well heck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46659603)

I guess my handle "sittingduck" wasn't such a good idea after all....

And "turdburglar" hasn't worked out well for me.

Re:Well heck (2)

RenderSeven (938535) | about 8 months ago | (#46660637)

'BotNet' always gets a response, especially if you play like a bot for a minute or two. You either get treated like a badly written 'bot and everyone swarms in for an easy kill, or treat you like an omniscient 'bot and get avoided. Either way, it can be used to your advantage. If nothing else you get some extra shots off while the other team is busily reporting you to the moderators.

I need a handle, man (2)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 8 months ago | (#46656921)

UltraLaser... DoctorDoom...

Re:I need a handle, man (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 8 months ago | (#46657079)

Alright. How about the Master of Disaster, huh?

Re:I need a handle, man (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#46657833)

Probably taken...but DisasterMaster is available...

Re:I need a handle, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46660999)

Oh 1995, such a good year for such a bad movie. thank you for the Hackers reference.

Re:I need a handle, man (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 8 months ago | (#46657445)

I'll be known as ...

... Cowboy Neal!

Re:I need a handle, man (2)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 8 months ago | (#46658173)

Whenever I see a name like DarkFyre, SoulRe4ver, or some other ridiculously angsty and pretentious name, you can bet it's a 12-15 yr old boy who thinks that name he came up with is the coolest thing ever. Bonus points if he's created a logo with black, red, and flames of any sort. I have fun imagining how embarrassed he'll be of that handle a few years from now.

I mean, admit it. When you were 13 you thought "DarkFyre" was a pretty awesome name too, right?

Re:I need a handle, man (1)

Sique (173459) | about 8 months ago | (#46658607)

Actually, no. When I was 13, I was busily fighting off nicknames others were trying to hang onto me. My current handle is the nickname that finally stuck, when I was 15.

Re:I need a handle, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658663)

you can bet it's a 12-15 yr old boy who thinks that name he came up with is the coolest thing ever. Bonus points if he's created a logo with black, red, and flames of any sort. I have fun imagining how embarrassed he'll be of that handle a few years from now.

Probably, but if he keeps in until he is 30 he deserves some respect.
If you can push through the embarrassment of going by the name "draw3s0m3k1ll3r" for 15 years you deserve the name.

With that said the article is complete bullshit. It looks like someone with a hypothesis that does everything he can to ignore everything that disproves it.
Just look at the names that are actually used by the professional gamers that other people fear.
"Dear", "Taeja", "Loda, "Acke"
The best analogy I can find is The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. Cute and cuddly for anyone who doesn't have to face them.

Re:I need a handle, man (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46658785)

When you were 13

1972 - Back then "John Wayne" and "Ringo Star" were cool names. Now get off my lawn you insensitive clod.

Re:I need a handle, man (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 8 months ago | (#46661549)

*Starr

Re:I need a handle, man (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46660315)

In a few years, he'll change his name to SoulReefer.

Re:I need a handle, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46687509)

Or maybe Saltpetre

Re:I need a handle, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46660761)

I created my main alias when I was 14. Took her first name from a favorite book, the middle from a friend and the last from, of all things, a Transformer. Technically, a Transformer's accessory.

26-odd years later I'm still using it. But not here. The handle I use here I came up with about 15 years ago. Other than these two, I've used very few alt/temporary handles anywhere. Heck, my main has social media accounts and a full online presence!

Re:I need a handle, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46662353)

This reminds me of a theory I came up with a while back about online avatars. Those who have no avatar, or whose avatar is something really generic (like a bad photo of their own face, or one of the default avatars provided by the system) tend to be the noobs. But interestingly, those whose avatar is something overly badass (such as a lightning-breathing demon or a photoshop of their username in glowing gothic letters) are only in the middle of the range. The real heavy hitters tend to be the people whose avatars are old pop culture references, or GIFs of popular cartoon characters, or something especially cute and/or derpy. I'm not sure WHY this would be the case, but it may be that those who know they hold real power feel secure about using a silly-looking avatar or a picture of something they personally like, rather than trying to impress people. Furthermore, it seems that the more powerful someone is, the less frequently they change their avatar.

This is just a statistical average, of course, not a hard rule. And it doesn't just apply to gamers, it holds on other kinds of forums as well.

Re:I need a handle, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46687481)

No - DangerBabe. Stuck with her since Quake days.

Re:I need a handle, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46660119)

I tried getting "ItsInThatPlaceIPutThatThingThatTime" but it was too long.

Re:I need a handle, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46663021)

I go by AnonymousCoward!

I had intimidation factor on my side before (5, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 8 months ago | (#46656977)

Back when I was first to 1500 wins in Warcraft3 and #1 in 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 99% win rate in 3v3, I would have people be awed at me when they come into the game. They would just be happy to play against a big name in the game and express it like a kid who meets his favorite sports player or a famous person. They'd say things like,"Man, you're going to win, but its nice to even get a chance to play you." So my name had intimidation factor to it, but I earned that intimidation factor by first being actually good and having a great record. If you play Starcraft2 and you spend more than a few seconds making your screen name, you're doing it wrong :P

That said, I like this screen name more than my ol' gamer tag. If people go visit my website, they can be well on their way to eternal life, and my Bro Jesus will have cool things to say to me when we finally meet.

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (4, Interesting)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 8 months ago | (#46657155)

I had the most fun with StarCraft back when it FIRST came online. I crafted a small map with an island in the center and a ring of land around it, and one bridge onto the island. One guy started at the outside, opposite from the bridge, and the other started on the island. The funny thing was you could equally well win with any race from either starting position, but you had to know EXACTLY what to do right off, even the most minuscule deviation from the optimum (and not 100% obvious) build pattern would spell certain doom. It was incredibly fun to pick off the really highly rated players. 95% of them would figure it out after the first inevitable loss, but of course I would always blithely agree to reverse positions and beat them again with the equally tricky strategy for the other starting position. It took a LOT of tweaking to get that map perfect, but I think I must have been around 90:1 win:loss ratio on it. Not that this means I was really THAT good, not at all, lol. I bet that map is still floating around somewhere.

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658483)

Please at least tell us the name of the map.

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 7 months ago | (#46690057)

I really can't recall. This was back when the original StarCraft first came out. This was in the day where my internet was ISDN or maybe asymmetric 512k cable-modem down and 56k modem up. It was a small size map that had land all around the edges, but the whole center was water, mostly filled with an island that had one fairly short bridge to the outside land at one corner. The island had some crystals, and the outside ring had some at the 2 corners, with the forth corner opposite the bridge being a start point. There might have been a few crystals in other spots, I don't recall exactly.

The trick was that the guy on the outside could do a 'slow rush' if it was done exactly right he could hit the island and win, if the island guy did ANYTHING except build basic units. This was mostly because it was easy to localize your opponents base/hive. Likewise you could work out that the island player could win if the outer player didn't create a way to cut off one of the two routes around the outside at exactly the right time. I don't recall the details perfectly, but I could probably still play it. Once you know the layout of the map its not too hard for a good player to see how to play it and then it comes out a draw most of the time. The really good players could beat you once they figured it out. I think maybe 2 or so players ever beat me cold on it, they must have been truly the very best of the best on Battle.net.

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46662389)

Interesting. My own W/L ratio on StarCraft sucks serious ass, so maybe I could boost it up using a technique like this. Do you remember the strategic details?

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (1)

Hobadee (787558) | about 7 months ago | (#46689177)

I created a UMS version of Blood Bath, where if player 1 (me) would move a worker to the far corner, it would start spawning 3/3 carriers with 8 intercepters in it. It was hilarious to see peoples reactions when a zerg player had 20 carriers a minute into the game.

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (1)

bitt3n (941736) | about 8 months ago | (#46657999)

my Bro Jesus will have cool things to say to me when we finally meet.

"press alt-QQ for eternal life"

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (1)

the_skywise (189793) | about 8 months ago | (#46661167)

Gag no...

It's up up, down down, left right, left right, b, a, start
[angels sing and a shaft of blue light appears around me]

See?!

Oh wait... or was it just plugh?

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | about 8 months ago | (#46658915)

That said, I like this screen name more than my ol' gamer tag. If people go visit my website, they can be well on their way to eternal life, and my Bro Jesus will have cool things to say to me when we finally meet.

Is that website legit or some kind of piss take? I can't quite be sure :/

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46659041)

Yeah I mean how intimidating are names like MVP, MC or SlayerSBoxer? http://wiki.teamliquid.net/sta... [teamliquid.net]

Or MEGARACER (aka Kim dotCom): http://venturebeat.com/2012/01... [venturebeat.com]

FWIW one of the game handles I use is Cute Lethal Puppy. Is that intimidating enough?

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46659515)

Fatal1ty used to play with a CS team called "Pretty Pink Ballerinas".

However, they didn't get very far using that team handle, pretty much got owned at a weekend tournament in Dallas a dozen years ago or so. Looked pretty cool driving up and then away in his Predator vs. Alien car, though. Maybe there is something to the name thing, after all (just a few hundred more anecdotes to go before it's data).

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46659521)

That said, I like this screen name more than my ol' gamer tag. If people go visit my website, they can be well on their way to eternal life, and my Bro Jesus will have cool things to say to me when we finally meet.

See, to me it just tells me that you are not that smart and I should treat you as such. Probably not your intention, but that's what it comes over as. Apart from suffering repeated mental... "events", let's call them, you are gullible enough to believe some guy making vague prophecies that were only written down long after they were kinda fulfilled. Apparently the power of your experiences didn't inspire you to learn anything about web design either.

I wonder what the reaction in-game would have been if you had used your /. nick as your gamer tag would have been.

Re:I had intimidation factor on my side before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46659633)

Cool story, bro.

Pure Evil (2)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | about 8 months ago | (#46656985)

If you want your gamer tag to have real power, choose well...like this guy did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

It may not be good power but it has power.

Jewy Tardbane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46656991)

They didn't let that one last long in game.

1337 names == cheaters (1)

Snotnose (212196) | about 8 months ago | (#46657039)

Seems everytime I see a name like xXFooXx and somesuch, that person is cheating. Dunno why they like the xX*Xx paradigm, but for the PS3 Call of Duty games it seems to hold true in my unscientific survey. I know they're cheating when they use names like 001l0l1O1l, they don't want to be reported.

Re:1337 names == cheaters (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 8 months ago | (#46657441)

I know they're cheating when they use names like 001l0l1O1l, they don't want to be reported.

And the obligatory comic from: [xkcd.com]

Re:1337 names == cheaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46657581)

Could be worse. In WoW, people create names using Unicode that are identical to other people (where the Cyrillic "C" is a completely different character than the ASCII "C"), just to screw with their reputations or cause people to report the wrong person.

Some of it comes from lame speak... something that was passe back in the early 1990s, but with each year, a new set of pre-teens discover it and think it is cool.

Re:1337 names == cheaters (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 8 months ago | (#46657621)

On the consoles at least you're forced to use a name that hasn't already been used. Over time that means longer names with 1337 characters are a necessity.

Re:1337 names == cheaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46659303)

On the consoles at least you're forced to use a name that hasn't already been used. Over time that means longer names with 1337 characters are a necessity.

Only after much longer times would using 1337 names really be necessary.

So you're not forced to unless you insist on using a similar name as one already used.

Re:1337 names == cheaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46660151)

As far as the xX*Xx goes, that dates back to the 90s. For lack of a better term, people used to add flair to their names. Many times, these were associated with clan tags. Nowadays, gaming companies implement some sort of clan tagging, which is almost always a string of 3-8 characters in front of a player's name. It used to be that you could have your clan tag before and after your name(in games where changing your player name was trivial). People would do things like -)NAME(- or >NAME, etc. Nowadays, they make it damn near impossible to change your name, and they force it to be unique for some dumb reason. If they had more than one "Scuba Steve" on a server, they could add a number at the end so people could tell them apart. I could rant about this all day but I'll stop. Game devs are an unimaginative lot when it comes to naming.

Why would names like 001l0l1O1l prevent reports? On PC, you usually right click their name in a menu and say: Report. On consoles, it's a lot of the same because most actions on consoles can be done without a keyboard(virtual or otherwise). I honestly can't remember the last time I had to type someone's name in to report them.

Besides, for a lot of games the important thing is the GUID, which players usually have no control over.

Finally, 'hacking' is an arms race, and finding players with difficult to spell names is a solved issue. Is it an O or a 0? Is it I l | or 1? Etc. Cheat detection systems can automatically look for such players and red-list them(ie, promote the likelihood that they're hacking). I don't have proof, but I'd be willing to bet 9 times out of 10, people with those kinds of weird names are thinking they're clever, and they're using a hack that has already been cracked by the cheat detection(ie, they dled it from link from a video on youtube).

Re:1337 names == cheaters (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46660389)

While GMing a game of Pathfinder (basically D&D 3.5 rules just not called "D&D") I told the players their enemy was a ranger named "XxHE4DSH0TZxX." They were not amused.

leet name generator (1)

steak (145650) | about 8 months ago | (#46657133)

classic

https://web.archive.org/web/20... [archive.org]

Re:leet name generator (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 8 months ago | (#46659319)

see also: http://gamenaminator.com/ [gamenaminator.com]

IP Packets (1)

eyepeepackets (33477) | about 8 months ago | (#46657181)

It's all in the name.

Significantly yours,

eyepeepackets

aka Killer, Marspoet, et al.

Ian Banks (5, Funny)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 8 months ago | (#46657191)

Whenever I see one of those overblown handles that seem designed to intimidate and impress people, my first thought is that the player isn't good enough to do it on his own merits. I prefer names along the lines of how Ian Banks' Culture ships named themselves. To borrow a comment. "Let's see you explain to your admiralty that your fleet was wiped out by the Bureaucracy and the Red Tape, and when you tried to disengage you found yourself trapped by the Complete Lack of Morale and the High Command's Total Incompetency.".

Iain Banks (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about 8 months ago | (#46657975)

Not a fan (well, I didn't like Consider Phlebas much) but it's Iain Banks. Stuff like this bothers me as much as people writing Tolkein.

Re:Iain Banks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658693)

Phlebas is the worst of the Culture novels, its sort of an intro to the setting. Player of Games, Surface Detail, and Look to Windward are probably my 3 favorites, though the latter 2 assume you have read enough of the previous books to get things written between the lines.

Re:Iain Banks (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 8 months ago | (#46658877)

Not a fan (well, I didn't like Consider Phlebas much) but it's Iain Banks. Stuff like this bothers me as much as people writing Tolkein.

To be fair, Consider Phlebas isn't the best book in the series. Player of Games was much better, Excession (spelling) was excellent.

But he's not for everyone. I guess having a British sense of humour helps when reading British/Scottish authors (a lot like watching Red Dwarf). I'd be surprised if you didn't have the same issue with Hamilton (Peter F).

But I see the GP's point, a culture-esque name like "So Much for Teamwork", "I Liked 1942 Better" or "Angry, Short Sighted and Armed" would be a lot more creative than XxKilla34xX and demonstrate the player has a bit of a sense of humour. I laugh a lot more being killed by someone named "Sense Taken Leave".

Re:Iain Banks (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about 8 months ago | (#46660883)

OK, I'll give Player of Games a try, thanks!

And surprise! I do like Hamilton, although his books are a bit hit or miss IMO. And I don't see anything that makes them similar in any way.

Re:Iain Banks (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about 8 months ago | (#46661535)

Player of Games is absolutely gripping. I think I read through it in like two days. Consider Phlebas took me well over a month off and on because...it's just such a downer really. Also in the absolutely gripping and coincidentally total Gen X/Y geekgasm fantasy literature is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I finished it in maybe a day and a half and could not put it down in any free moment that I had. And then I re-read it two weeks later and it had the same level of awesomeness. Really looking forward to his next book.

Re:Iain Banks (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 8 months ago | (#46661593)

Rasd-Codurersa Diziet Embless Sma da' Marenhide

Re:Iain Banks (1)

Warma (1220342) | about 8 months ago | (#46658929)

I am a fan, but not all the way through. I find the earlier books much better, as both Surface Detail and Hydrogen Sonata delve deep into Mary Sue territory (with both the human and AI leads). Especially the minds are absolutely omnipotent against anyone else in the universe and the sense of conflict and uncertainty the books actually attempt to build fails to become relevant. While both of the novels have their moments, I feel that they are no longer entertaining.

Also, what pisses me off is that at some point he simply lost the touch in how he made the minds feel special by their dialogue. You know you have jumped the shark when an omnipotent AI says "fuck" twice in a sentence or ends up being a boasting asshole.

Re:Iain Banks (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#46669793)

I was just triaging some old books and that went on the donate pile on the grounds that I probably won't read it again.

Still, Clear Air Turbulence is a good name for a ship. I wonder if it's named after the Gillan album, the flying annoyance or something else that I totally failed to grok.

Schlock Mercenary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658363)

Then we cannot spare the forces. Just this morning the Spear of Incalculable Agony was thwarted by hitherto unknown rogue vessels hailing as Pterodactyl and Perjurious Discourse.

I'll grant the rogue this much: His ship names are less pretentious than our own.

Indeed. The Pretentious Drivel yesterday disabled the Sword of Indomitable Righteousness.

He's got a good sense of the ironic as well.

http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-06-20

Re:Ian Banks (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 8 months ago | (#46660271)

You named your ship what?
"She's one of ours, sir!"
You're flying around on the SS She's one of ours, sir!...
"Yeah, we figure it'll give us a couple rounds of confusion on their bridge."

Players. Never underestimate the amount of sheer crazy brilliance that players will occasionally pull off.

I miss dynamic name changing (1)

Snotnose (212196) | about 8 months ago | (#46657223)

First 10 years or so of online gaming was on a PC, then I switched to PS3. On PS3 it's (relatively) difficult to change your name. On the PC it was trivial.
I used to play a lot of Day of Defeat, and my name usually mocked another player who sounded pretentious. There was a guy named Army Of Darkness, which I made Army of Dorkness. About that time I found a server I liked (coorsbuds), and started playing a lot there. Long story short, I had several names, all starting with Army of. My final name was Army of Silver Bullets, cuz the community wanted all names to relate to coors.
Now, I've had the same name for 4 years, and it's boring.
/ miss my coorsbuds budz .

Random (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 8 months ago | (#46657311)

If a game has a function for it, I hit 'random' until something that seems suitable pops up.

Re:Random (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46657857)

I pick names that would match something like what would relate to the class of character. Kihkyuurass was one... I had a wizard called Ahbrakhedabra too.

Re:Random (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46660885)

Dungeon Defenders was free to gold on Xbox Live so I tried and when they suggested Rethard for my character name I had no choice but to giggle and try the game itslef.

Long names? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 months ago | (#46657495)

Speaking about the attraction of simple names, Alter told Red Bull âoeIâ(TM)d imagine that simpler names are more memorable, more recognisable, and easier to repeat mentally when people are thinking of the other players who occupy the same gamescape. Itâ(TM)s hard to think of a time when a simpler name would hurt a gamer or a team, but easy to imagine that gamers with very complex gamertags might get lost in the mass of names.â

In-game and in real life, anyone with a *long name can easily find it shortened by the people around them.
It's not so easy for me to imagine that "very complex gamertags might get lost in the mass of names."

Even someone as not-complex as "Nightmare" would easily get shortened to "Night" or even "N" during team activities.

*more than a syllable

Re:Long names? (1)

AnttiV (1805624) | about 8 months ago | (#46658449)

And it will. Trust me on this :)

A *long* time ago (BBS-time, before the 'net), I went by the name 'Nightwing' (and I still like that song) that came from an old D&D (pen & paper) monster's translation. As soon as "online" became more common and I frequented things like IRC, that very, VERY shortly became "night" on "nw". Therefore I shortened it to "Nite", which seemed to go ok and was very rarely shortened to anything. Once or twice with "N". I use that occasionally even today, but mostly after sometime I hit 20s I somehow figured nicknames are not THAT great. I thought that, well I do have a "real" name, why not just use that...

And yes, even that gets shortened usually. Even in real life.

UserName theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46657847)

A few months after I started using my new username, after making sure there was nobody using it anywhere by searching on multiple search engine, I found that some chinese dude decided to take my username and use it to name his "corporation"... I swear nothing is sacred for the chinese...

Re:UserName theft (1)

geirlk (171706) | about 8 months ago | (#46659827)

A few (6-7) years after I chose my nick, all of a sudden another guy started using it around the web. All of a sudden we ended up in a sort of Cold War rush to secure our (my!) nick on various sites and services. I'm thinking I've won, since his activity has dwindled.

That username gets about 14000 hits on Google, and the majority of them are related to me.

I've fought so hard for it, I get a bit annoyed when people abbreviate it =)

prevent macros? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658019)

In WoW BG's, I'll make a quick macro of unkindness for their healer unless the name is too weird to quickly type and decode. I'm sure I'm not the only one doing that.

Seafart Firetruck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658187)

The more stereotypical you are, the higher your success rate.

Let's see... (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 8 months ago | (#46658191)

... handles of League of Legends players in the LCS (highest-profile US and Europe tournaments):

(Spaces added to evade filter)

Crumbzz
Goldenglue
Imaqtpie (best name ever)
Kiwikid
Cruzer the bruzer
Dyrus
TheOddOne
Reginald
Bjergsen
Wild Turtle
Xpecial
Balls
Meteos
Hai
Sneaky
LemonNation
Nien tonsoh
Dexter
Link

Doublelift

Aphromoo

They don't seem too overbearing to me...

Re:Let's see... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658727)

The are all memorable though, "shit, it's [NAME], we are all gonna die" works just as well with qtpie as it does with dexter. In a well balanced game that extra half second can give you an edge and ofc picking it in the first place means they are smart enough to pick a name that will give them an edge.

Popular Culture... (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 8 months ago | (#46658193)

So gamers will be popular either because they are known to be good or simply because they choose the right name and get publicity...

So this is like the difference between Morgan Freeman and Kim Kardashian.

Re:Popular Culture... (1)

AnttiV (1805624) | about 8 months ago | (#46658461)

Thanks for the daily laugh :D :D

That's exactly that :D

Re:Popular Culture... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46658701)

So gamers will be popular either because they are known to be good or simply because they choose the right name and get publicity...

No the article is complete bullshit.
Just look at the names of the most popular players. The only common denominator is that there are no names in the style the article describes. The one thing the most popular players have in common is that they are very good at the game.
What the article describes is how players in the group 12-14years old selects their names on xbox.

It's a fine balance (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 8 months ago | (#46658525)

up and coming gamers will choose their own handles in future, both to intimidate opponents

Most newbies won't have the experience to choose a good name - hell: most parents don't even have that skill. They will also bring all their own fears, preconceptions and biases to the naming party, too. So most of them will choose names that give the impression of a callow youth trying to grossly overcompensate for their (obvious) inadequacies.

Not only are these individuals easy to spot, their choices are more likely to make them targets for scorn and derision rather than convey the impression they are better than they really are.

Re:It's a fine balance (1)

azcoyote (1101073) | about 8 months ago | (#46660391)

True.

I think there's definitely something about gamertags that impacts the way people respond to you. I remember when playing Gears or War or Halo there seemed to be an unspoken policy of avoiding being on the team of someone with an all-lowercase name, because it at least seemed to often be the case that such a person was a young kid or a newer player. Of course, looks are deceptive. There are many good players who use all-lowercase gamertags. But even if we cognitively know that our assumptions are faulty, that does not stop us from unconsciously acting upon them before we think about it. (Hence Pascal says that human reason is subject to imagination: you could put the world's smartest philosopher on a secure plank hanging over a cliff, and even though he knows that he won't fall, he will probably still be afraid of it.)

The only name change I paid for on Xbox Live was to make my gamertag more interesting and less newbish, so that other experienced players would be less likely to avoid being on my team. You can say that one's skill should speak for itself, but you have to win a game first in order for your skill to speak, and in team-based matches a set of bad teammates can easily make you look like a newb.

So most of them will choose names that give the impression of a callow youth trying to grossly overcompensate for their (obvious) inadequacies. Not only are these individuals easy to spot, their choices are more likely to make them targets for scorn and derision rather than convey the impression they are better than they really are.

I agree. The mark of many newb gamertags will often be that he or she chooses a name that he or she *thinks* is intimidating. It would be better to imitate very closely gamertags of players who *are* intimidating, when these have some distinctive character. I opted for something in the middle, which would not look like it was trying to be too clever but would not immediately appear to be newbish.

Re:It's a fine balance (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 8 months ago | (#46662081)

better to imitate very closely gamertags of players who *are* intimidating

essentially mimicking nature, where lots of animals, bugs and plants take on the form of nasty, poisonous entities in the hope that looking like a badass will stop them getting eaten.

Gaming imitating life! Nice.

I don't know about good... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46659019)

Or bad...

But someones username is an easy way to weed out the morons you will want to avoid. Or target.

xxNAMExx or numbers in place of letters. These people are morons. and the more x's or #'s. the greater the moron.

any combination of pwn or own or elite. Or some vauge sexual pun of any sort. these people are children. or have the mentality of a 12 year old.

any obvious 'black' name. little white kid with more money than sense. these make excellent targets to scam. very easy to influence.

for women... sexycutehotsweetbabygirl.. isn't any of those things. you won't want to see any pictures here without eyebleach.

vauge female anime sounding name or avatar on actual males. these people are pretentious pedantic douchebags who live to argue. every single time. Most online forums have quite a few of these.

There's alot more of them i've learned since the days of the 2400 baud bbs. But most of the rest tend to really piss off some segment of the population. Because the truth hurts alot. Some of the country specific trends can get pretty vicious to point out.

As for the article.. I've never noticed any trends that stand out as identifying GOOD players. But i wouldn't doubt there are a few.
It's a rich area for study. Does the name make the player? Or does the player make the name?

Re:I don't know about good... (1)

alexo (9335) | about 8 months ago | (#46664391)

any combination of pwn or own

So what about "Gordon Brown" then?
Oh, wait, Never mind...

So it's because of the name that I suck at games! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46659307)

I always name my characters after Denzel Washington!

Realsilly . . . (1)

realsilly (186931) | about 8 months ago | (#46659667)

. . . because an adult woman was playing an on-line game several hours a day.
. . . because it invoked a sense of light-heartedness when playing.
. . . because young family members always said I was real silly.

It was a clean screen name, it's what I've used for forever.

XBOX shut off looks cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46659727)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGZeU4s28kk

Where I come from (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | about 8 months ago | (#46659757)

The best of the best were the best and the names were nothing. Wargod (Wargoat), xxAngelxx, Sith Bandon (Sithz), Propolis, Painball, Selene, Shin Ra. The names were random at best, but when you fought with or against the best of the best, the skill far exceeded the name.The highlight of my years was beating Painball and two of his mates solo as a completely green pilot too stupid honestly to realise I was taking on the best and then some. Later I flew with him, and he was 10x the pilot I ever was. Good times.

EvilKlit setus up the bomb (1)

t20alex (1542015) | about 8 months ago | (#46660129)

Quake and UT always had mot serious handles, but CounterStrike had the most hilarious usernames. My fav: Bukake Bandit EvilKlit CumshotCoW

Sigh... (1)

the_skywise (189793) | about 8 months ago | (#46661189)

Never judge a book by its cover.

A priest named 'Leakage' (1)

Impish (669369) | about 8 months ago | (#46662267)

When I rolled my priest in WoW I spent 2 minutes thinking about what the worst name for a priest could be, so I name him "Leakage". Can't say I spent a lot of time on it and just created it to amuse myself. Of course that is PC gaming, I don't do console gaming so the idea of locking myself down to a single user name ... I guess I'd put more thought in to it.

Oh well! (2)

Sniperkilla (1153439) | about 8 months ago | (#46663345)

I wish Slashdot had a "change username" feature...

Stealing usernames (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46673969)

My issue is what's to stop people stealing the usernames of good players for their selves.
Like a Star craft 2 player with their unique username then a new games come out but someone has taken his username for what ever reason.

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